Date: Jun 5, 2018

A battery powering up from red to green. Pic: Getty

Protean has pressed the ‘on’ button for its vanadium flow battery, launching the first of a series of tests of its high tech storage in Australia.

Vanadium redox flow batteries are a key focus for the energy industry because the technology can store more power and last much longer than lithium-ion batteries. That makes it highly sought-after for industrial and domestic energy storage.

Market researcher IDTechEx predicts the market will be worth $US4.5B by 2028.

The battery technology “has the potential to become a mainstream technology that will compete directly with lithium-ion and sodium-sulphur — currently the two leading chemistries in the stationary storage market”, IDTechEx says in a recent report.

On June 1, clean energy provider Protean (ASX:POW) switched on a 25kW/100kWh V-KOR vanadium redox flow battery (VFRB) at industrial fittings supplier OzLinc Industries in Perth.

It’s the first Australian trial of the technology, which is half-owned alongside Protean’s (ASX:POW) Korean affiliate KORID Energy.

The battery consists of two electrolyte tanks, two battery stacks of 12.5kW each, one 25kW inverter, electrolyte pumps and a power management system. It’ll be charged from a 21.1kW rooftop solar system.

The “plug and play” battery is modular, and can be scaled up from as small as 2kw to 20MW.

Protean has received a number of enquiries regarding its V-KOR battery and is progressing towards commercial orders

Modular technology is the flavour of the moment in many industries.

Protean's 25kW/100kWh V-KOR vanadium redox flow battery (VFRB) in Perth
A drone snapped ths picture of Protean’s 25kW/100kWh V-KOR vanadium redox flow battery being installed in Perth

Governments and corporations are moving away from sinking big sums into giant, years-long builds and towards tech that can be delivered quickly and scaled up or down as needed.

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